Satan is the great deceiver. He makes evil things look attractive.
Did you know Halloween is the second highest spending holiday in America? Halloween is soon to be upon us. Stores will be overflowing with products that sell us the idea that Halloween is a great tradition and a special night to be celebrated. It’s fun to see children dressing up in silly costumes and running around our neighborhoods collecting candy. But is Halloween just another innocent holiday? Or is it something different entirely?
When I was a young mother, I made witch costumes for our daughter and her friend. We found hats and brooms that fit their size, and they looked adorable. George and I carved pumpkins, and I enjoyed walking my children from house-to-house as I visited with neighbors. I was totally ignorant about the roots of Halloween. Then I heard a sermon about the true meaning of Halloween, and I was convicted.
Did you know that witches, warlocks, and satanic worshippers meet and praise the devil on October 31st? Halloween traces back to the ancient religion of the Celtics, which worshipped the spirits of the dead. On that day, those who oppose Christ observe satanic rituals, cast spells, and even offer blood sacrifices. It is a pagan festival in which scary costumes are meant to “frighten away” evil spirits.
Today, Halloween is a confusing mixture of pagan and Christian traditions. For instance, the Jack-o-lantern is the “festival of light” for worshippers of Satan, representing the damned soul. Nevertheless, many Christians—like George and I allowed the children —carve happy faces on pumpkins and place them on their doorsteps. Inside the pumpkin we placed a candle. Never again.
As believers, we also have a “festival of light” at Christmas. We place lights on trees, celebrating Jesus, who was “the light of the world.” During Hanukkah, the eight lights of the menorah symbolize the faithfulness of God. It is striking how Satan distorts and confuses Christian symbols, deceiving children and families around the world. When I see families celebrating this pagan holiday, my heart aches for them; they do not realize who they are partnering with.
Deception results in believing something that is false is actually true. In Scripture, deception results in many forms of wickedness. As the Bible says, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil” (Isaiah 5:20). Decorating our homes with symbols of darkness like ghosts, witches, vampires, black cats and spiders is celebrating the occult. Scripture instructs us, “Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them” (Ephesians 5:11 NKJV).
We are to “turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God” (Acts 26:18 ESV).
Finally, we are instructed to “put on the whole armor of God, that [we] may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11 ESV).
How can we not celebrate Halloween? Once we understood the roots of the holiday, we began taking our children to the Harvest Festival at church. Children love to dress up, but our church had a rule: no witches, goblins, or anything that symbolized darkness. A child could dress as a biblical character, an animal, or any costume not representing Halloween. As teens our children helped us at the festival.
Instead of carving Jack-o-lanterns, we now support an organization that paints fall pumpkins to raise money for a children’s hospital. My mother-in-law purchases painted pumpkins for everyone in our family, and we display them in our home a symbol of gratitude to the Lord.
As believers, we celebrate life. Satan appears as an angel of light but celebrates death. Matthew 4:9 tells us that Satan tried to win Jesus to his ways. “Again, the devil took Him up to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. ‘All this I will give to you,’ he said, ‘if you will bow down and worship me.’” If Satan tried to entice Christ, how much more does he entice us?
Horror movies, occult TV programs, mystic advertising, and demonic video games ramp up during the season of Halloween. If you have children or grandchildren interested in the occult or Halloween, ask the Lord to help you speak with them about the dangers of these things and give them healthy alternatives.
As Christians, we have an enemy who steals, kills, and destroys what is good. He uses deception by making things appear good that are actually evil. I encourage you to research Halloween to learn even more about this holiday. Pray that God will show you what is true. “Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil” (1 Thessalonians 5:19 NIV).
Lord, my heart’s desire is to be pure to you. Satan is very crafty, and I struggle against the principalities of darkness. Now that my eyes have been open to the evils of celebrating Halloween, help me be creative by offering good alternatives. Please remind me to join a prayer group or pray on my own to thwart the worship of darkness on the night of Halloween. I know Satan is a liar and wants to trick me into things that are not pleasing to you. Help me keep my eyes and ears alert. In Jesus’ name, amen.